Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

Finger-Length Ratios in Female Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Sexual Orientation

Article

Abstract

The second to fourth finger digit ratio (2D:4D ratio) is a sex-dimorphic characteristic in humans that may reflect relative levels of first trimester prenatal sex hormones. Low interdigital ratio has been associated with high levels of androgens. It has been reported in unrelated women that low 2D:4D ratio is associated with lesbian sexual orientation, but because of the nature of those samples, it was not possible to conclude whether lower ratio (and hypothetically, higher androgen levels) in lesbians are due to differences in genetics as opposed to differences in environment. To test the hypothesis that low 2D:4D in lesbians is due to differences in environment, interdigital ratio data were analyzed in a sample of female monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for sexual orientation (1 twin was lesbian, the other was heterosexual; n = 7 pairs). A control group of female MZ twins concordant for sexual orientation (both twins were lesbian) was used as a comparison (n = 5 pairs). In the twins discordant for sexual orientation, the lesbian twins had significantly lower 2D:4D ratios on both the right and left hands than their heterosexual cotwins. There were no significant differences for either hand in the twins concordant for sexual orientation. Because MZ twins share virtually the same genes, differences in 2D:4D ratio suggest that low 2D:4D ratio is a result of differences in prenatal environment.

lesbian monozygotic twins interdigital ratio sexual orientation 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineNew York UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Center for Alcohol and Addiction StudiesBrown UniversityProvidence

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